Why We Procrastinate, And How To Stop It

We all procrastinate from time to time, but beating it isn't as easy as recognising that we do it. This video from the folks at ASAP Science does a great job of explaining the mental processes behind why we procrastinate (you may be procrastinating right now by reading about procrastination) and how you can use them to your advantage to get things done.

One of the basic reasons why we procrastinate so much is because doing small fun things now offers us a greater mental and emotional reward than doing something for which we know we'll be rewarded in the future -- even if the reward in the future is bigger. We've discussed this idea before, the idea of "multiple selves," where your present self makes plans that your future self will have to wind up doing (so you have to find a way to plan things that your future self will actually do.)

Once you understand why we procrastinate, some of the best tips to beat procrastination are the easiest: reward yourself frequently and at regular intervals, and embrace a productivity system that encourages active periods and rewarding breaks, like the Pomodoro Technique.

The Science of Procrastination -- And How To Manage It [YouTube]

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Comments

    Very cool, thank you.

    - King of all Procrastinators

      I daresay I'm the queen to your king.

        I was going to say you two should meet up but, you know, you'll probably never get around to it.

    Get a room

    I really enjoyed your post, and I agree with utilising the Pomodoro technique - it's a favourite of mine. I found your article so good that I linked to it in my article "Procrastination is a dirty word…or is it?" where I talk about how procrastination can improve the quality of your work. http://academicwonderings.wordpress.com/2012/11/10/procrastination-is-a-dirty-word-or-is-it/

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